In 2021 we have 10 kids between us that range from three to eighteen. We are on year 11 of Relic. Life is crazy. Work is crazy. Any given day Heidi is locking herself in the bathroom to take notes on your session, keeping a cool, professional demeanor while her 3 year old is chucking her shoes at the door. Hanna is texting you while hooting and hollering from the bleachers, living in the car, trying to hug children that are too angsty to hug back. (for now anyway) Aside from all of that, 2021 meant that we lost our foster brother of 22 years. Death is hard. Owning a business is hard. Marriage is hard. It is all hard. You all know this as well as we do…no one is exempt from middle life bearing down. And while we are grateful for so much, this year has also felt a lot like a fire burning out.
The exhausting part of Relic: Art is a person. It is a real heart. A whole way of seeing the world. This job requires a lot of emotional investment. And without giving that, our images fall flat. It’s not really an option to just go through the motions if we want our work to actually mean something. We have to offer our vein and our lifeblood and our voice and our energy and our love and forgiveness and acceptance. It sounds crazy but its true. Every session we are building others up, finding the beauty, pulling it out like a rainbow from the river. We host a party to celebrate everyone else, and love you, because you are worthy, because you are lovely, because your story needs to be told. We become the cheerleader, orchestrator, leader, storyteller, friend. For two introverts this can be draining and if we are honest, with this particular season, sometimes we have been left wondering if we still had our spark.
Tonight we both looked through our files and chose a few to share. We can’t say if they are the favorites or not, because the truth is there are literally thousands of beautiful images and way too many to choose. But as we perused through the over 300 sessions of 2021, our hearts swelled up. The art is here, she never left, even when it felt hard. Storms come but they also always go. Seasons change. Wind blows over coals and flames pop back to life. We still make it through!
The fulfilling part of Relic: Art is also all of you. It’s a real heart. A whole way of seeing the world. And even when we are weary, we are also proud. When we offer our whole selves, the vein and lifeblood and you offer yourself back – it becomes something new, something beautiful, something worthy. We are blessed enough to have a voice in so many lives. When we feel empty, we are simultaneously filled. We get to be more than struggling wives and mothers in the middle of crazy life, we get to be love story authors, the spinners of gold, the worshipers, the cheerleaders, the orchestrators, the counselors, the potters at their wheel, the friends. Relic saves us, too. You save us. That’s how we know we are meant for this.
Here are a few of the ones that we edited FIRST. The pause, the inhale, the gratitude, the love of this undeserved gift of photography. We took these photos in the middle of messy, crazy life. We edited them with pots boiling over, kids running amok, and middle life bearing down.
Thank you all for grace, for always being our friend back, for another year, for giving us so much beauty to cling to, for all of it. We love you and can’t wait to see what 2022 has waiting for us all.